Activists handed the EU a petition signed by more than 1.3 million people on Monday (23 October) calling for a European ban on the weedkiller glyphosate, produced by chemicals giant Monsanto and others, over fears that it causes cancer.
The petition was given to the European Commission, which has recommended the license for the herbicide be renewed for ten years in mid-December.
“This would mean a de facto ban of glyphosate in Europe,” Riss added.
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news conference that Commissioners invited the activists to explain “their ideas in more depth” while the European Parliament will hold public hearings in the next few weeks.
Experts from the 28 member states are due to vote on the EU executive’s recommendation on Wednesday, but Greenpeace said it is unclear whether Brussels will get the majority support needed for it to pass.
Greenpeace and other activists said they had attained the signature threshold to require a formal response from the European Commission – one million names from at least seven countries – in a record time of five months.
“The system in Europe is neither transparent nor independent,” Riss said.
MEPs call for complete glyphosate ban in 2020
As a petition against glyphosate continues to amass support from European citizens, MEPs adopted on Thursday (19 October) a resolution calling for a total ban on the weed killer from 2020. EU member states will vote on the renewal of the glyphosate licence on 25 October. EURACTIV France reports.
The weedkiller deadlock in the EU has dragged on since June 2016, when its previous 15-year licence expired, and an 18-month extension was granted.
But the ruling has failed to ease concerns among member states and among the public.
Opponents of glyphosate, led by Greenpeace, point to research from the World Health Organisation that concludes it may be carcinogenic and are calling for an outright ban.
A 2016 review carried out by other WHO experts and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said: “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”.
Monsanto maintains glyphosate “meets or exceeds all requirements for full renewal under European law and regulation” and charged that the renewal procedure has in “many respects been hijacked by populism.”
Source : http://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/more-than-1-3-million-demand-eu-glyphosate-ban